Karen Redman’s responses to Questions on Climate Change
In this post we invited all the candidates in Gawler and surrounding councils to answer the 4 questions we formulated with respect to what their knowledge and stance is on climate change.
Here’s the response we received from Karen Redman (Mayoral Candidate):
Question 1: What relevance do you see climate change issues having for Gawler Council over the next 4 years?
a) Not relevant
b) A bit relevant
c) An issue which council deals with among many issues
d) One of the more important issues for Council
e) An issue which should be at the centre of Council planning
I would say D. There is no doubt that there is a lack of understanding and hence ambivalence about climate change and its impacts. Most people have not heard the considered arguments of some of the smartest scientific minds in the world. This is very similar to the evidence on the dangers of asbestos yet we are only just beginning to listen to this knowledge and take some action. In Gawler with our flood issues there is some way to go to mitigate this risk. A good start has been the recent work on the Gawler river flood prone areas.
Question 2: What actions are you aware of where Gawler Council is currently taking action related to climate change?
Gawler Going green is a project to improve energy efficiency in key council buildings and community facilities.
Water conservation. Conservative improvements have been made to usage over the last few years although practices and utilising available evidence to guide efficiencies could be investigated further. Stormwater management is a key piece of work about to commence as a collaborative effort between neighbouring councils.
Our heavy reliance on cars (me included) due to most paid work being outside of the area and limited effective public transport alternatives ie no express trains before 7 am, impacts negatively on our lifestyle and health in general. Strategies to get people out of cars such as partnerships with schools to develop tangible school pick up and drop off public transport options are needed and not just poorly funded ideas that don’t really have a chance to work. People won’t change their habits if it is time consuming and not viable for them.
Question 3: What actions do you think Gawler Council should be undertaking in the next 4 years related to climate change?
Incorporate sustainability principles into strategic documents, translate this into practices not unlike the child and youth friendly work. Promote cycling as a way of getting from a to b rather than a recreational activity. More cycling paths that are safe and separate from cars. Lower speed limits around town. Promote the town as family friendly, cycle and pedestrian friendly and encourage motorists to take care through good signage perhaps. More funding for decent footpaths that are suitable for people with disabilities. Gawler is a very walkable town
Lobbying for Gawler to be self sufficient through local job opportunities and associated infrastructure such as NBN is crucial as we grow. We need to start questioning why we accept the commute out of our community.
Question 4: What actions do you think Gawler Council should be undertaking with the broader Gawler community related to climate change?
Changing people’s habits is about a range of strategies and is not easy to achieve. It needs to be a collective response and in partnership with community groups and others. I think people are wanting to be more healthy and contribute but it’s easier to take the car, it’s easier to put the clothes in the dryer. A commitment to footpaths and continue the bus shelter installation program; promote public transport. Education through fun activities and a consistent response of council ie stay on message and help the community engage on why it’s possible to contribute to action on climate change through local activities like ‘take the bus today’ that could be fun. Saving money is a great motivator and using evidence ie how much you would save by reducing your car usage by 1 %. Building community capacity through these activities is another advantage.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the questionnaire
Town of Gawler
Click here to see the list of those candidates who have responded